AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Forward LeBron James recorded his first triple-double of the season and 37th of his career with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists and the short-handed Miami Heat rolled to a 110-78 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at The Palace.
Center Udonis Haslem scored a season-high 17 points for the Heat while power forward Chris Bosh added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Heat played without three starters — shooting guard Dwyane Wade (sore Achilles tendon and hamstring), point guard Mario Chalmers (thigh bruise) and center Greg Oden (back spasms), as well as top reserve Ray Allen (stomach virus). Miami is 13-7 without Wade this season.
Reserve center Chris Andersen contributed 13 points and shooting guard James Jones, who had not played since Jan. 17, started and scored 10 points.
Miami (49-22) lost eight of its previous 13 games, including an 84-83 squeaker to Eastern Conference frontrunner Indiana on Wednesday. Miami clinched the season series, 3-1.
Power forward Greg Monroe and reserve point guard Will Bynum had 12 points each for Detroit (26-46), which lost seven of its last eight games. Shooting guard Kyle Singler added 11 points but the Pistons suffered their largest loss this season.
James was content to be a facilitator most of the first half while his big men racked up the points. He had eight assists while backup point guard Norris Cole made six as the Heat jumped to a 57-42 lead.
Haslem scored 12 points, mostly on mid-range jumpers while Andersen contributed 10 points. Miami ended the half with 11 unanswered points, including three James layups.
The onslaught continued in the third quarter. Jones and Bosh made back-to-back 3-pointers to bump the lead to 20 at 65-45. The Heat soon went on another 11-0 run, featuring four points apiece by James and Jones, for a 76-49 lead.
NOTES: The Pistons held a halftime ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first championship in 1988-89. Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars were among 11 players who attended. Dennis Rodman was conspicuous in his absence. … Heat F LeBron James said before the game that he would gladly take the $10-year, $292 million contract that Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera just received. “I’d opt out for that,” said James, who can become a free agent if he chooses this summer. … Miami won 11 of the last 13 meetings with Detroit. The Pistons have not won the season series since 2007-08. … Detroit’s frontcourt trio of C Andre Drummond, PF Greg Monroe and SF Josh Smith ranked in the league’s bottom 10 in free throw shooting among all qualifiers entering the game. Drummond was 125th and last at 41.6 percent, Smith at 122 (53.3) and Monroe at 116 (66.1). … The Heat were 36-5 when holding opponents below 100 points. … Miami G Norris Cole played in his 137th consecutive game.
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